If you are the worst of the worst on Aussie Ladette to Lady, Gill Harbord and Rosemary Shrager will ship you off to Australia, never to darken their door again.
It seems not much has changed between the mother land and the colonies.
And not much has changed between the first and second of Nine’s reality series either.
There’s still a bunch of larrikin girls doing their best impression of St Trinian’s School for Girls before the teachers of Hereford Hall Finishing School*. Everytime their spirit sees them wreak havoc they are quickly cut down to size accompanied by assorted shots of appalled ladies and rebellious Antipodeans.
How drearily predictable.
It’s hard to find any point of difference from the first series to the second. While it makes sense to stick to the premise of the show, it is staggering this series from RDF Media does so with such a lack of imagination. Almost every construct from the first episode of the previous series is regurgitated again here (I’m almost tempted to just regurgitate my last review).
Eight Australian girls aged 18 – 24 arrive in the UK to the disgust of Vice Principal Shrager whose coach trip from airport to Eggleston Hall is a tirade of abuse, insults, misbehaviour, swearing and bodily exposure. An equally disgusted Principal Gill “this time I’m ready for them” Harbord rifles through their luggage like a Customs Officer.
The girls are forced to remove their piercings and dress in pastel uniforms. Having been out-of-control for the cameras upon arrival, suddenly they are far more obedient. It makes little sense as to why they have suddenly got their proverbial tails between their legs. Oh that’s right. A producer probably told them to…
More admonishing follows. A cooking lesson ends in outrage. Then there’s a cocktail class in which the girls are trusted not to imbibe. Last series the same set-up appeared in episode one. Looks like Ms. Harbord hasn’t learned much. They imbibe. Duh.
And there’s another hosted party for a group of young British men, this time as a cheaply-filmed garden party. It’s all goes so swimmingly the Hereford Hall principals decide to leave the ladettes to their own devices. Yup, seen that one before too.
Get set for the routine of an appalled Ms. Harbord returning to put an end to the ensuing shenanigans. Finally, one girl is considered so disgusting (it was probably a line-ball decision) that she is sent packing back to the colonies. Rinse and repeat.
It’s one thing for everybody to stage this charade for the cameras. It’s another entirely to simply replay the last series with a different bunch of offenders.
You have to wonder do Ms. Harbord and Ms. Shrager really believe in this stuff or are they just putting it on for the cameras? I suspect both. This is a heightened execution of their desire for olde-worlde values. To their credit, they are so adept at this self-serving nonsense they can spit out the lines and pull the mugging faces like true professionals. If you enjoyed that sort of thing last time, you’ll doubtless enjoy it here again.
The UK woke up to this comical entertainment by dropping it in 2008, and Australia belatedly came to RDF Media’s rescue (the producer is also the director and narrator). I suspect like they did with Gordon Ramsay, Australians will have moved on by now. If Nine is really lucky they might get some offended lobby groups feeding the media machine and buying them free publicity. Hopefully even they will have woken up to that cycle by now too.
Aussie Ladette to Lady airs 9:30pm Tuesday on Nine.
* Updated: Hereford Hall isn’t Eggleston Hall as per previous series. The shoddy signs on the side of the bus and in front of the mansion would suggest Eggleston was no longer available to them.